Nonprofits strive to make the world a better place, often with limited time, talent, and funding. Efficient document management for nonprofits is one way to maximize your resources—the right system saves time, eliminates bottlenecks, and helps you stay compliant with state and federal requirements.
As in many industries, nonprofit documentation is going digital. That’s where document management software for nonprofits comes in. Moving your paperwork to the cloud has big benefits that can ripple throughout the entire organization.
Safe, Space-Saving Document Storage
Nonprofits deal with a constant flow of paperwork: Sponsorship agreements, tax forms, donor receipts, and volunteer registration forms are just a few of the documents that flow in on a daily basis. All of that paper has to go somewhere—as a result, many organizations struggle with physical storage and safe nonprofit management systems. In addition to the space requirements, paper documents are vulnerable to fire, flooding, and theft.
Document management software for nonprofits eliminates all of these issues. Hard copies get scanned and stored securely in the cloud, so there’s no need to keep them on hand. That means fewer file cabinets and more room for staff and volunteers. As a bonus, digital document management solutions non profit also reduce your organization’s environmental footprint.
Cut Costs With Digital Document Management for Nonprofit
Paper documentation comes with surprisingly high costs. You must buy paper, printers, ink, file cabinets, and file folders. That’s only part of the expense—think about the number of paid hours you spend searching for, organizing, and filing documents. Digital document management for nonprofits reduces or eliminates the majority of these costs.
Efficient Nonprofit Management Systems Save Time
Time is a precious resource in a nonprofit, especially if your team is working at or beyond capacity. Efficient nonprofit management systems can free up a surprising amount of time. Instead of digging through file cabinets and stacks of paper, employees can find the document they need with a few clicks. Before a volunteer event, don’t worry about printing and transporting registration forms; just use the system to send them by email in advance.
Have you ever spent precious minutes searching for a tax-exempt receipt? With software that handles document management for nonprofit organizations, you can upload the receipt as soon as you leave a store. Advanced systems can even tag and organize each item for you, so there’s no need to waste time developing a complicated filing structure. When documentation is fast and easy, your team can spend more time on high-impact tasks that further your mission to serve the community.
Document Management Solutions Non Profit: Access Files From Anywhere
Nonprofit staff members are often out of the office at events, donor galas, fundraisers, and volunteer projects. When you’re away from the computer, a forgotten document can be a big hassle. Cloud-based document management for nonprofits makes it easy to access your documents from anywhere. That means that you can pull up the latest budget numbers on your tablet or check to see if a volunteer is already in the system.
Remote-access document management for nonprofit organizations is also convenient if you have multiple locations or an international presence. Everything is in one centralized location, so team members all have access to the same information and the most recent version of each form. If you have volunteers scattered across the globe, streamlined document management solutions non profit helps you operate efficiently in every location.
Chances are, at least one of your employees does the same task over and over. Your volunteer manager might follow the same procedure for every volunteer application that comes in; the accounting staff probably has a process for dealing with receipts. With digital document management, it’s easy to automate these common workflows. You maintain control over the process by creating specific rules and parameters. Then, when an employee scans in a form, the system knows exactly what to do with it—there is no need for further input.
When your workflows are more efficient, your employees spend less time on repetitive tasks. This means that they can direct their mental energy and paid hours to higher-value jobs. This can boost morale and help each person feel like they’re contributing more to the goals of the nonprofit.
Nonprofits deal with unique challenges, particularly when it comes to legal compliance. When you have a management system, it’s easier to keep up with requirements for documentation, record-keeping, tax forms, and bookkeeping.
If you spend time tracking down receipts and donor records, you know that it can be challenging to monitor the chain of custody. A digital management solution eliminates that risk. As soon as you upload a financial form to the system, it tracks every action. That way, you have a clear and comprehensive record of changes; since each user has a unique ID, it’s easy to see who has touched the document and when. At tax time, you can access all of the information you need to file returns with a few clicks.
Planning a presentation to the board? Create custom reports in minutes.
Are Documentation Management Systems Safe?
Nonprofits maintain a great deal of confidential information, including staff information and donor records. That’s why cloud-based document management systems use cutting-edge technology to protect your valuable data. Most providers employ a full suite of defenses that range from firewalls, encryption software, and systems that keep out unauthorized parties. By employing many different layers of security, the system ensures that your files are safe and protected.
When compared to traditional hard-copy storage, online systems can actually offer increased security. In an office, your file cabinets and storage room may have a steady flow of employees, visitors, volunteers, and building workers. With a digital document system, you can manage who has access. That’s not all—you can set permissions so that sensitive information is only accessible to employees who need it.
For example, you might limit access to staff members’ tax forms to the director and the accounting department. This increases data security and decreases the chance that a volunteer might alter or release a form by accident. Since everyone has their own login, there’s a clear digital paper trail for every file.
Have you ever lost a physical document to a spill or human error? Digital solutions offer a built-in safeguard against accidents. Most systems run automatic backups, so there’s always another copy of your files on a second server. If an employee deletes a file or the main server goes down, you can rest assured that your documents are safe. In many cases, the system backs up on a daily basis to reduce risk and ensure that you’re always compliant.
Done efficiently, document management can help your nonprofit conserve valuable resources. If you’re in need of a better system, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with one of our solution specialists. Our expert team understands that nonprofits have unique requirements when it comes to document management; we can help you determine if our solutions can streamline your documentation, save time, and cut costs.